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Words of a Fether

Opinions on Faith and Life

Church of the Animal Farm

Most people who are familiar with Orwell’s Animal Farm quote the phrase, “Some animals are more equal than others” and rightly so. But the biggest message is how that phrase came to be.

Throughout the book, the reader notices a steady but subtle change of “truth”. Statements and phrases are continually changed just a little, and history is rewritten to back up each twist. At the end, a bold statement of democracy and equality has been turned completely backwards, every principle turned upside down. Deceit and coverups, with threats, were the instruments of transformation.

Today we hear of “change agents”, but like the pigs in the book, they are really “double agents” whose stated goal is to lead the masses from the Rock of the gospel to the shifting sands of moral relativism. Read these excerpts from– NOT any Christian blog or discernment ministry– but The Denver Post:

Buddhism is not only accepted as a mainstream American religion, it is a path increasingly trod by faithful Christians and Jews who infuse Eastern spiritual insights and practices such as meditation into their own religions.

“There is a definite trend and movement that will not be reversed,” said Ruben Habito, a laicized Jesuit priest, Zen master and professor of world religions at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “We are in a new spiritual age, an inter-religious age.”

Long have I and others warned that “contemplative prayer”, “the silence”, “labyrinths” etc. are not Christian at all but Buddhist, which only drew outrage from fellow believers who insist that Buddhism has nothing to do with it. But clearly it has ALWAYS had everything to do with it; even the secular press recognizes this. And of course they approve. They repeat the revisionist history that the apologists for mysticism have been using:

Judaism, Catholicism and Islam have rich traditions in contemplative practices, yet these had all but disappeared from everyday congregational life.

For many Christians cut off from the past, or alienated from the faith of their upbringing, Buddhism has served as the bridge to ancient wisdom.

“The problem is the contemplative tradition in the Christian Church has had its ups and downs over the centuries,” said Father Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk and leader in the Centering Prayer movement, a modern revival of Christian contemplative practice.

“We sensed that the Eastern religions, with their highly developed spirituality, had something we didn’t have,” Keating said. “In the last generation, 10 to 20 years, some didn’t even think there was a Christian spirituality, just rules— do’s and don’ts and dogma they didn’t find spiritually nourishing. It’s important to recover the mystical aspects of the gospel.”

Christian contemplative practices were lost or weakened in the Protestant Reformation and later in the Great Awakening religious revolutions in colonial America that advanced the themes of Protestantism.

“There is growing permission to turn back to some of the early church practices and pieces that helped us to be whole,” said the Rev. Stuart Lord, an ordained Baptist minister and new president of Naropa University, a Buddhist-founded institution. “I’ve been studying Buddhism and meditation for about seven years. I look at it as helping a person lead a fuller Christian life.”

Mystical practices are completely absent from the NT writings; there is not the slightest hint of them being taught, tolerated, or presumed. Much in scripture speaks of FILLING the mind with FACTS about God and our salvation in Jesus ALONE, of faith in a Jesus Who can only be identified by FACTS about Him as testified by eyewitnesses (yes, dry legal terminology). It is only when the MIND is thus “transformed” that we become like Christ, being changed by HIS power and not our own.

Mysticism focuses on self, on the person practicing it. Like Warren’s “Purpose-Driven” books, what is allegedly “not about you” is in fact all about you, what you do to basically conjure up God in your life. But the gospel, as we see in the NT, is all about Jesus, His sacrifice, His power, His resurrection, His Spirit, His work. The “mystery” the NT speaks of is not one bit like the mysticism of other religions, but about that which is no longer a mystery: the ekklesia, the community of believers, the Body of Christ.

And who can deny the division this mysticism has caused? They point to our doctrinal divisions but ignore their own “doctrine” as being just one of many, clearly a double standard. But as in the previous post, if Christians will NOT divide over the very definition of the gospel, they care nothing for the lost and, like bland salt or lukewarm water, will be discarded by Jesus Himself (Mt. 5:13, Rev. 3:15).

I urge any reader who has promoted or been practicing this Buddhism to consider, for the love of Christ, what scripture says instead of all those popular authors.

Pertinent scriptures on “the mind”: Rom. 12:2, 1 Cor. 2:16, 14:14, 2 Cor. 4:4, 11:3, Eph. 4:23, James 1:8, 1 Peter 5:8, etc.

Pertinent scriptures on “mystery”: Rom. 11:25, 16:25, 1 Cor. 2:7, Eph. 1:9, 3:3-9, 6:19, Col. 1:26-27, etc.

Posted 2009-08-14 under Salvation, assembly, Bible Text, salvation, God, Nature of God, Worship, Christian Living, Other Religions, Apologetics, religion